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Today, cancer is still considered an “act of God”, but scientists throw a new light on the disease discovering that diet, exercise, and weight control could curb cancer chances just as they curb heart and other health problems.

In a joint American-British study researchers concluded that healthy living could reduce cancer rates dramatically in rich countries. The study results suggested that 34 % of all cancer cases in the U.S. could be prevented by a healthier diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. The study did not specifically include smoking, but it goes without saying that avoiding smoking is the most important factor in preventing certain types of cancer.

The American Institute for Cancer Research and the U.K.-based World Cancer Research Fund claim that this is the most systematic policy report ever accumulated on cancer prevention.

The data was collected from existing researchers on cancer risk and prevention and analysis showed that cancer was mostly preventable. Healthier living could reduce colon cancer by around 45% and breast cancer by around 40%.

Governments, the medical community, and the U.N. World Health Organization have long advised diets based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limited intake of red meats, dairy products, and fats.

Governments, industry and schools need to become involved in providing healthier lifestyles, from adding bicycle lanes to public roads to eliminating vending machines that carry fatty, sugar loaded junk food, particularly in schools. Efforts should be made to encourage reformulation of processed foods that contain sugar, refined starches, fat and salt.

Developing a public health policy aimed at preventing cancer would be much better strategy than investing in the cancer treatment.

Based on the information in the study the U.S. estimate on reduction of certain types of cancer which could be prevented with proper nutrition and physical activity are: endometrial 70%; esophagus 69%; mouth and throat 63%; stomach 47%; colorectal 45%; pancreas 39%; breast 38%; lung 36%; and kidney 24%.

These prevention figures will surely make it a lot easier to eat your broccoli.

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It is encouraging to know that a healthy lifestyle can prevent many forms of cancer. Good job, Marrilyn.
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Yeap, a new study found that vegetarians get fewer cancers.
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